Jan 22, 2014 8:04 PM by Janine Reyes
CORPUS CHRISTI -- We've seen marijuana legalized in Colorado and Washington state.
Now, a local group is hoping to organize and push for decriminalization in our state.
They are gathering tonight at the House of Rock.
It's their second attempt to start a local NORML chapter, NORML stands for the National Organiation for Marijuana Law reform.
They say they don't want to legalize marijuana, but their aim is to decriminalize it.
"I see a lot of basically harmless kids who are getting arrested for this, they're thrown into the probation system, they're thrown into the jail system and it negatively affects the entire rest of their life," attorney Kyle Hoelscher explained.
He hopes by organizing a local chapter of the national group called NORML, people in Corpus Christi will join other large cities across our state and have a voice.
"There's absolutely no political output in regards to marijuana law reform from the 300,000 people who live here in Corpus Christi," Hoelscher said.
The group has five board members and they're working on gathering members to volunteer, hand out pamphlets and spread awareness.
Step one is the event at the House of Rock tonight that kicks off at 8 p.m. They hope to gather more people to join the group.
Hoelscher says not everyone involved with NORML smokes pot. "I have smoked when I was younger," Hoelscher said, "as I grew up, its kind of something you leave by the wayside."
The first goal of NORML in our state is to decriminalize possession of marijuana, that means anyone found with less than 2 ounces of the drug would face a Class C Misdemeanor, not Class B. The difference is 6 months of jail time right now, versus a $500 dollar fine, if legislation changes. The offense would be more serious on the 3rd strike.
Although that would take away from his business, he says the gains in people's rights are worth it.
"Frankly I would happily lose all my marijuana cases in the interest of liberty for people who use marijuana," Hoelscher said.
If they're able to get enough members to organize, the NORML group plans to meet at the House of Rock every second Wednesday of the month.
You can find out more by logging on to their Facebook page, find that link here.